Stop Margaret Kelly being evicted by Homes Victoria
Margaret has been issued with an eviction notice to leave her home in the Barak Beacon public housing estate in Port Melbourne.
A petition tabled in state parliament to stop the demolition and instead retain, refurbish, and build more public housing on the estate has been ignored by Housing Minister Colin Brooks. Instead, Homes Victoria is pressing on with a plan to get rid of public housing and replace it with community housing, so-called affordable housing for essential workers like paramedics, teachers, firefighters, etc, with their rents set at only a 10 per cent discount to market rents, and full market rent housing.
Residents from Barak Beacon who were afraid of the consequences of saying no to relocation have moved to alternate accommodation. They have joined the hundreds of other tenants from other demolished public housing estates taking up public housing that should have gone to those on the waiting list or are living in high cost leased private dwellings. This cost to Homes Victoria is no doubt contributing to their financial woes. A Supreme Court affidavit from Homes Victoria’s predecessor the Department of Housing and Human Services stated the cost for relocated Abbotsford St North Melbourne residents was $16,800/day three years ago.
There will be a rally in support of Margaret on the steps of Parliament House on Spring St 11.30am Thursday, May 11, to be followed by a march to Minister Brooks’ office in Melbourne’s CBD. The campaign can be followed on the Save Barak Beacon Facebook page:
State budget woes – is Homes Victoria insolvent?
The May Victorian Budget is going to be a disaster for many communities and services in Victoria.
Homes Victoria has advised their minister in advance that they alone need hundreds of millions in extra recurrent funding to stay solvent.
Many public housing tenants have seen the news on Homes Victoria’s financial woes and are wondering what on earth they do with the rents they pay. They find it impossible to believe that the management of public housing is currently costing more than all the rental income that Homes Victoria receives.
Professor David Hayworth pointed out in 2021 that public housing is the most cost effective way for governments to provide affordable housing for very low to low income households:
He also made it clear that private investor housing is subsidised through the taxation system but still punishes renters with high rents.
Professor Hayworth is also the chair of the state’s review of public, community and affordable housing regulation which has not seen the light of day in a final report. An interim report issued during the December holiday period in 2021 is all we have seen:
Please show your support for public housing in the lead up to state budget. Demand an end to demolitions and a rebuilding of public housing on demolished estates. •
This column has been written with the assistance of the Save Public Housing Collective.